Nobody ever wants to get a divorce. It’s a long and painful process, usually with tempers flying everywhere and other family members getting dragged into it. Even when people break up amicably, it can be difficult to maintain that throughout the process of divorce. What if there was a better way?
There is — mediation. Mediation is a way to solve conflict peacefully, creating the best result for everyone in the dispute. Wondering if it’s right for you? There are four factors you need to consider before starting the mediation process.
- You and your spouse are able to communicate and respect each other’s positions. This is an important first step to establish, because if you’re struggling too much to understand/empathize with your spouse, mediation will be that much harder. When going through the divorce process and choosing the mediation route, you need to be able to speak openly about your needs as well as being able to acknowledge what your spouse needs. You don’t need to be best friends, but you do need to be able to talk to your spouse.
- You are able to stand up for yourself and speak your mind. This is similar to the first step — not only do you need to be able to respect your spouse, but you need to respect yourself. Mediation is done outside of the courts, without attorneys/other representation, so you need to be able to state your needs, both financially and emotionally. You can have representation during this process, but you still need to be able to discuss yourself frankly.
- You don’t believe your spouse is hiding assets. Again, divorce through mediation is about being able to speak openly about what both of you need from the process. It requires both parties to communicate and speak their minds, so that life after divorce can be amicable and fulfilling for not only the former spouses but any children that may be involved.
- There is no history of abuse in your marriage. Someone who has been abused by their partner will be better off pursuing a divorce in the court system, because they may struggle with the previous three steps. Even if the abuse was early on and only happened a few times, your spouse will likely not respect your needs and wishes during the process.
Though divorce is in itself a painful process, it doesn’t have to be. Mediation can help create a better future post-divorce.